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getting my book in the hands of one million people

 
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Cindy Fox wrote:Are you still using clickbank @Paul Wheaton?



It has been about three years since I have fiddled with anything over there.  Surely a lot of things have changed.
 
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No problem @Paul Wheaton.
Just curious
 
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Amazon is a pretty evil corporation and no matter how profitable an alliance might be, I think it more in keeping with permaculture values to steer clear (also of Google & FaceBook).
Paul, you mentioned not knowing how to find/vet a publicist. There are other, similar books out there; what about contacting some of the authors to see if they used a publicist? I'd think they possibly could be helpful
Books I think would have similar readers as yours:
Extreme Simplicity and The Self-Sufficient Home both by Christopher Nyerges
The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
Also David the Good's Florida Food Forest, Compost Everything and  his Florida Vegetable Growing books seem to have sold quite a bit. He's pretty approachable and would probably have some good ideas.
And what about The Humanure Handbook?
Would Chelsea Green Publishers maybe have some suggestions?

Just a few things that came to me. If not helpful, I understand. Good luck. I enjoyed the book. It really made me rethink composting!
 
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Can the boot and ant fees I paid last year be used as a donation for the book?  Then there would only be 8k.  And maybe my arm would be better off for waiting a little longer.
 
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Paul, do you have "extra" hard back copies of the book that you could sell, over priced? I ask because I still have ebook codes from the fundraiser that I haven't used because it turned out that everyone wanted hard copies. So I'm now out of hard copies. I would be interested in buying some for $100 or 150... Guessing maybe others are too, if you've got boxes in your basement so to speak.

I'd purchase some of the online stuff but with my data cap, I haven't been able to watch everything I already received. :(
 
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This is a pretty big endeavor, Paul. I know the feeling of wanting to make an impact with publishing though. If you would like to seriously discuss terms for $9000 with me, let me know. I figure with the goal of 1 million copies, that should come back in a year or two.

It looks like you still aren't totally sure a publicist is the way to go though. So get in touch with me when you're sure this is the right choice.
 
paul wheaton
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Luke, I'm not quite sure what you are suggesting.

I think going with a publicist is the smart way to go - it is the thing to do at this point.  

Earlier in this thread somebody gave me the address of jeff bezos and I thought:  he has the printing and distribution ...   He could even print up 10 million copies and slip them into 10 million other book orders.  And another 10 million into 10 million kindle orders.  At such quantity, I would be perfectly comfortable to be paid zero.

So for all the to work out, I would like to get the point that money goes in, and money comes out and it can propel itself.    So the money goes to a publicist, that results in sales which brings money in which can be used for more printing and more publicist.  



 
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An established book publicist has connections with media people, book reviewers and industry folks. If they get your book in front of two or three reviewers in major media, the readers of the reviews could number in the millions. You have a quirky story with a great hook...save the world by doing stuff in your backyard. With all the concern about any number of environmental and social issues, exposure of the book and it's story should generate huge sales. At the price point you are selling it on Amazon for, you only need to boost sales by 1800 copies to break even. By the way, I question the category that you have your book listed under. Conservation doesn't begin to describe it. "Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture," which would seem to be something close to your book topic, is listed as #1 in "organic." You can select at least two categories to list your book under. Picking the correct categories will get your book in front of the right people.
 
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Sonja Draven wrote:Paul, do you have "extra" hard back copies of the book that you could sell, over priced? I ask because I still have ebook codes from the fundraiser that I haven't used because it turned out that everyone wanted hard copies. So I'm now out of hard copies. I would be interested in buying some for $100 or 150... Guessing maybe others are too, if you've got boxes in your basement so to speak.

I'd purchase some of the online stuff but with my data cap, I haven't been able to watch everything I already received. :(



No hardback copies.   I still have the paperback copies.  

I do have a few signed copies - signed by shawn and i (complete with the bit of silly that only those that bought a signed copy know about).  

 
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Catherine Windrose wrote:Can the boot and ant fees I paid last year be used as a donation for the book?  Then there would only be 8k.  And maybe my arm would be better off for waiting a little longer.



Catherine,

I just put a big gob of time into finding those transactions ...   (i need to get better at this!)  

It is done!  Congratulations!  You are now the biggest contributor to this!
 
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Paul Douglas Stevens wrote:An established book publicist has connections with media people, book reviewers and industry folks. If they get your book in front of two or three reviewers in major media, the readers of the reviews could number in the millions. You have a quirky story with a great hook...save the world by doing stuff in your backyard. With all the concern about any number of environmental and social issues, exposure of the book and it's story should generate huge sales.



Yuppers.   All stuff that I definitely cannot do on my own.  I need the help of a publicist.


At the price point you are selling it on Amazon for, you only need to boost sales by 1800 copies to break even. By the way, I question the category that you have your book listed under. Conservation doesn't begin to describe it. "Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture," which would seem to be something close to your book topic, is listed as #1 in "organic." You can select at least two categories to list your book under. Picking the correct categories will get your book in front of the right people.



FYI:  for all sales on amazon, I get zero.   Shawn and I agreed that we each get an unlimited distribution license.  He is trying to master amazon and a bunch of other stuff.  And already it has turned out to be a huge headache.   So on the upside - I don't have to deal with amazon.

As for sales:  amazon takes a healthy cut.   And the story goes worse from there.  But that's another story for another day.

For this publicity thing, I am currently on my own.  And while a lot of sales will go to amazon, I am hoping that quite a few will come here.  And, yes, after expenses, I hope to break even.   I would be super happy with break even.   Of course, with good luck comes the dreaded expense of getting a new mountain of books printed - so I am attempting to prepare for that day also.

 
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Cara Campbell wrote:Amazon is a pretty evil corporation and no matter how profitable an alliance might be, I think it more in keeping with permaculture values to steer clear (also of Google & FaceBook).
Paul, you mentioned not knowing how to find/vet a publicist. There are other, similar books out there; what about contacting some of the authors to see if they used a publicist? I'd think they possibly could be helpful
Books I think would have similar readers as yours:
Extreme Simplicity and The Self-Sufficient Home both by Christopher Nyerges
The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
Also David the Good's Florida Food Forest, Compost Everything and  his Florida Vegetable Growing books seem to have sold quite a bit. He's pretty approachable and would probably have some good ideas.
And what about The Humanure Handbook?
Would Chelsea Green Publishers maybe have some suggestions?



The woman that contacted me is an author of several books along these lines.   My thoughts at this time are to get $9000, send her $9000 and then see what happens.  

I could spend days or months researching which publicist to get.  But really, I just want to get one, do my part in the publicity thing, save the world, and then move on to my next big project (pretty sure it is SKIP).


Just a few things that came to me. If not helpful, I understand. Good luck. I enjoyed the book. It really made me rethink composting!



Glad to hear this!  

There were some unkind reviews at goodreads and they stuck to me a bit too long.   But that sticky stuff is washed away by good reviews.  Thanks!

 
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Several people got the pie thing!  Yay!

A few people got the PDC+ATC thing.  

One person got the consultation thing.

Some people bought stuff that wasn't part of the sale thing!  Including quite a few single books.

So between donations and sales ...   maybe $2500?  

An interesting thing is that there is more in donations than sales.  Odd.  

The last of the emails went out last night - maybe there will be a lot more activity throughout the day.  Maybe I should track it and set up some sort of image that looks like a thermometer?  :)



 
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paul wheaton wrote:

Sonja Draven wrote:Paul, do you have "extra" hard back copies of the book that you could sell, over priced? I ask because I still have ebook codes from the fundraiser that I haven't used because it turned out that everyone wanted hard copies. So I'm now out of hard copies. I would be interested in buying some for $100 or 150... Guessing maybe others are too, if you've got boxes in your basement so to speak.

I'd purchase some of the online stuff but with my data cap, I haven't been able to watch everything I already received. :(



No hardback copies.   I still have the paperback copies.  

I do have a few signed copies - signed by shawn and i (complete with the bit of silly that only those that bought a signed copy know about).  



Sorry, I meant paper back. Actual physical copies rather then ebook.   And I've kept my signed copy!  It's the one I have left.

Is it easier for you if I just buy books through Amazon for the amount I can afford to give to this cause?
 
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Sonja Draven wrote:Is it easier for you if I just buy books through Amazon for the amount I can afford to give to this cause?



To raise funds for the publicist, it would need to be purchased here:   https://permies.com/bwb

 
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Hi Paul,

I heard you want to go with a publicist for a hefty fee. I would be amiss not to recommend Pro Audio Voices for their extraordinary marketing program, and anything audiobook! It would seriously be worth taking a look, and getting in contact with Becky Parker to talk about your goals. They are amazing and also on the permaculture journey, coincidentally!  

I am editing this post to emphasize that they have an amazing value and it could be exactly what you are looking for. Worth a value comparison!!

https://proaudiovoices.com/contact-me/
 
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paul wheaton wrote:

Sonja Draven wrote:Is it easier for you if I just buy books through Amazon for the amount I can afford to give to this cause?



To raise funds for the publicist, it would need to be purchased here:   https://permies.com/bwb


Thanks! Twelve books ordered.
 
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Somebody just bought 12 physical books!  Yeah!  Saving the world!
 
paul wheaton
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Sonja Draven wrote:Thanks! Twelve books ordered.



We raced to post here!

Apples and PIE for you!
 
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paul wheaton wrote:

Sonja Draven wrote:Thanks! Twelve books ordered.



We raced to post here!

Apples and PIE for you!


Woohoo, thanks!
 
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paul wheaton wrote:Luke, I'm not quite sure what you are suggesting.

I think going with a publicist is the smart way to go - it is the thing to do at this point.  

Earlier in this thread somebody gave me the address of jeff bezos and I thought:  he has the printing and distribution ...   He could even print up 10 million copies and slip them into 10 million other book orders.  And another 10 million into 10 million kindle orders.  At such quantity, I would be perfectly comfortable to be paid zero.

So for all the to work out, I would like to get the point that money goes in, and money comes out and it can propel itself.    So the money goes to a publicist, that results in sales which brings money in which can be used for more printing and more publicist.  





Of course, Paul. It sounds like the publicist would move enough books that the $9000 would be no problem -after you've paid the publicist. I've got $9000 I'm offering to loan you so you can hire the publicist and get the books moving. Just offering. If you figure out a better idea that gets around the money, so much the better.
 
paul wheaton
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Luke Simon wrote:Of course, Paul. It sounds like the publicist would move enough books that the $9000 would be no problem -after you've paid the publicist. I've got $9000 I'm offering to loan you so you can hire the publicist and get the books moving. Just offering.



Send me an email:  paul at richsoil.com with the deets.  It will be a firm "plan B"

 
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Wow.  That's a lot of money.  To be frank, I'm a little worried for you.  I have never used a publicist or agent, but I also haven't sold $9,000 worth of books (though I'm getting up there).  My biggest advice would be to ask for proof that he's done this for other people.  Who has he made moderately rich and famous with his services?  Ask for some success stories and some references that you can contact.  Otherwise, it just feels like this could be a really expensive lesson.

Here are some ways you can ask people to support you and help make this book successful without spending any of their own money.  You have such a big following here that I would hope you could get some big responses along these lines even for people who can't donate cash.  People who want to help can:

~ Sign onto Goodreads and make an account.  Once there, either rate the book, better yet review the book, and possibly add the book to lists so people will see it when they're looking for related books (click on lists, and then search for topics like permaculture, etc.).  It's also helpful to friend people there, because the more friends you have, the more people will see the books you've rated.  That's not nearly as important as just getting the numbers up there and getting good quality reviews up there.  

~ Ask your library to carry the book.

~ Post on social media about the book, with a direct link to it.

~ Review the book on Amazon.

~ Recommend the book to groups, websites, etc. with similar values.  Always post a link when you do so.  People are lazy. :)

~ If you can't buy the book but buy anything else on Amazon, click through one of Paul's links so he gets a commission and support him that way.

~ Share social media posts about the book.  If you're on Twitter, Facebook, and especially FB groups about related topics, post about it.  Also forward posts/ads about it.


Here's where a good social media post can really help.  You can make them for free on Canva.  There are templates and graphics to make it easy.  Here's an example of a social media post that I made last week for a children's nature poetry book I just published with one of my children (she did the art).



Then ask people to share it, and share it yourself anywhere like-minded folks hang out.  Be sure the post has relevant information and a call to action ("please share!" or "Ask your library to carry it!" and so on), with a link to buy the book (make it an affiliate link and say so, to increase profits).  (Here's the post and what I wrote to accompany it on my author page).

You may also want to look into offering your book for review at NetGalley, where librarians, bloggers, booksellers and other reviewers access ARCs (advanced reader copies) for free in exchange for reviewing them on the site and on sites like book blogs, Goodreads and Amazon.  That's also how many librarians and booksellers find out about new titles to order.  NetGalley has become a rather important way of promoting books in today's market.  It costs more money than I'm willing to pay ($400 or $500 maybe?) but at the scale you're looking to sell at, it could be a good move.  That's probably one of the routes your publicist is planning on going.

I have never paid for advertising, but that could also be helpful for the numbers you want.  Sponsored books on Amazon seem to do well and start at a very low cost.  The way it works is that it suggests it to people who search for similar books or search words.  

I have never used a publicist or agent and have only used word of mouth and this sort of thing but I have sold quite a few books (my elderberry book is by far the best seller, though my acorn foraging book and nature study books also do fairly well).  Part of that also is because I do a lot to help people online for free with my free nature magazine, foraging help, blogs, etc. and so people tend to want to support me.  You have that going in spades, which can really help.  I realize you are looking for much bigger numbers of sales than my little books, but I hope that's some help.  I would be happy to create a social media post like mine for you at no charge if you want to email me and give me a basic outline of what you'd want on it.  I believe strongly in helping others for free, which is probably why I am not the type to hire a publicist and balk at anybody charging you that much.  :)  It may be a smart move, but I wouldn't count out word of mouth and karma in helping to bring good sales your way at much less cost.

Good luck either way!

 
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I think that the thing I would need is to hire somebody to hire a good publicist.  



I think that is key. I know little to nothing about publicists, so I don’t even know if they specialize or generalize, or have certain categories. But, as an example, it seems you’d want one familiar with your material and who has sold similar types of books (keywords like organic, holistic, natural, diy, building, growing, creating, making, raw materials, self-sufficient, off-grid, solar, etc), vs one who primarily works with, say, authors who write novels and fiction. The right publicist needs to have the correct channels and connections to most effectively and efficiently market your material.
Much like companies use headhunters to find the employee who is the right fit, are there people who could zero in on the right fit publicist?
My analogy for this would be that if you need a new roof, rather than calling roofing companies (all of whom will tell you they are the best) it makes more sense to talk with an architect or home inspector, since they have experience with the work of many different roofing companies.
 
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Hi Paul:

I saw your posting about publicity for your book.  I'm a book publicist and would love to talk to you about it.

Let me know if you'd like to chat.

My name is Paul, too.

 
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Alicia Bayer wrote:You may also want to look into offering your book for review at NetGalley, where librarians, bloggers, booksellers and other reviewers access ARCs (advanced reader copies) for free in exchange for reviewing them on the site and on sites like book blogs, Goodreads and Amazon.  That's also how many librarians and booksellers find out about new titles to order.  NetGalley has become a rather important way of promoting books in today's market.  It costs more money than I'm willing to pay ($400 or $500 maybe?) but at the scale you're looking to sell at, it could be a good move.  That's probably one of the routes your publicist is planning on going.



That's a good one!


I have never used a publicist or agent and have only used word of mouth and this sort of thing but I have sold quite a few books (my elderberry book is by far the best seller, though my acorn foraging book and nature study books also do fairly well).  Part of that also is because I do a lot to help people online for free with my free nature magazine, foraging help, blogs, etc. and so people tend to want to support me.

 

Are your books on our digital market?  (My guess is "no" and i would like to understand why, but I think that would be a different thread)


You have that going in spades, which can really help.  I realize you are looking for much bigger numbers of sales than my little books, but I hope that's some help.  I would be happy to create a social media post like mine for you at no charge if you want to email me and give me a basic outline of what you'd want on it.  I believe strongly in helping others for free, which is probably why I am not the type to hire a publicist and balk at anybody charging you that much.  :)  It may be a smart move, but I wouldn't count out word of mouth and karma in helping to bring good sales your way at much less cost.



I agree with your analysis.  

I have given mountains of things away for free for decades.   And free stuff reaches a certain bunch of people.   And then I think "If I created a thing worthy of money and pushed that, it would reach people that would not have gotten the free stuff."  A few of the people that got the free stuff buy the thing for sale.  And then I try to use those funds to reach others.

So I did the kickstarter and my community supported me to the tune of 20,000 copies of the book.  Yay!

And now I'm thinking:  I think that if this book is in the hands of 100 million people, it will solve a lot of global problems.   Is there a system where I put down money and that leads to sales.  Then I take the money from the sales and feed it back in.  Repeat until 100 million.  

??

When I look at a lot of this stuff I learn two very important things:

    - I have no idea how to do this stuff

    - I don't wanna learn how to do this stuff

The publicist thing seems smart.   So I am now headed down that road.


 
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Pavel Mikoloski wrote:Hi Paul:

I saw your posting about publicity for your book.  I'm a book publicist and would love to talk to you about it.

Let me know if you'd like to chat.

My name is Paul, too.



I wish I knew that a full day earlier.   Maybe now is a good time to link to your professional stuff?  

I have already initiated something with the publicist that contacted me last week.
 
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If people took global warming as seriously as they are the coronavirus you’d sell several million copies overnight. Maybe include a free face mask or roll of toilet paper? 😏
 
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Sorry to hear that.

I come recommended by Joel Salatin so if that changes, let me know.

Best,

Paul M
 
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Published a review on my blog this morning, 5 Acres & A Dream The Blog Book Review: Building a Better World in Your Backyard.

Responses are just coming in and folks are interested. Every little bit helps!
 
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Leigh Tate wrote:Published a review on my blog this morning, 5 Acres & A Dream The Blog Book Review: Building a Better World in Your Backyard.

Responses are just coming in and folks are interested. Every little bit helps!



Excellent!  

I see the amazon affiliate link.  You do know that my book (and all my stuff) sports a 50% affiliate fee here, right?

 
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paul wheaton wrote:I see the amazon affiliate link.  You do know that my book (and all my stuff) sports a 50% affiliate fee here, right?


Paul, I know you have an affiliate program, but don't you payout through PayPal? I cancelled my PayPal account after they made two unauthorized withdrawals from my bank account. They wouldn't tell me who took the money or why, and refused to give it back. That completely broke my trust, so PayPal is out for me. :(
 
paul wheaton
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Yup, paypal.  

What do you use instead of paypal?
 
Leigh Tate
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For my amazon affiliation I just get the gift card and buy more books. :) I gave up the other affiliate program I was with, even though I made quite a bit of money with it. After paypal started helping themselves to my bank account, I couldn't deal with the stress of having to check it 50 times a day to make sure they hadn't done it again. The money was really helpful, but my peace of mind was more important.
 
Julie Reed
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After paypal started helping themselves to my bank account...



You’re not alone. I kept PayPal (though rarely use it) but unlinked my bank account such that I can deposit money IN to my bank but PayPal can’t take money FROM it (a financial diode). Some company was ‘selling’ me dozens of tshirts a day, the $ being pulled from my bank. PayPal eventually reversed it all, but it took some doing. The account is now linked to just a credit card which protects me from fraud, PayPal or otherwise. I mostly just use it as a way to pay ebay and a couple others. If for some reason I get money paid to me, I immediately move it out of PayPal and into my bank.
 
paul wheaton
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Leigh:  so instead of sending you payment via paypal, you would be cool with me buying you an amazon gift card?
 
Leigh Tate
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Wow, Paul, sure! What do you need me to do to become an affiliate?
 
paul wheaton
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Leigh Tate wrote:Wow, Paul, sure! What do you need me to do to become an affiliate?



https://permies.com/forums/affiliate/list


 
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I think we just need to get you an affiliate number, Leigh?

I went and tested the link Paul gave you. It'll ask for your paypal address, but I don't think in your case that's necessary. Just stick your email address in that field, and it should give you your affiliate number. If you're lucky, you'll be number 300!
 
Nicole Alderman
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Paul, does Leigh need a paypal address to sell things on the digital market? I'm wondering if she might want to list ebooks for sale through it, or maybe even physical books?
 
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